About 16% of total US refining capacity, or 3 million barrels per day (bpd), has been lost since Hurricane Harvey descended on Texas on Saturday as the most powerful storm to hit the state in over 50 years, killing at least nine people and causing catastrophic flooding in the heartland of America's petroleum industry.
West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark for the price of oil, has pulled far away from the global benchmark Brent, but an emailed report from London oil broker PVM said it's "only a question of time for WTI-priced USA crude oil to start strengthening against other benchmarks". While it has been downgraded to a tropical storm, ongoing torrential rains have flooded numerous refineries in Texas and Louisiana, the heart of the American petroleum industry.More news: Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' Breaks Multiple Records
About 26 percent of Gulf natural gas production is offline, or about 828 million cubic feet (23.4 million cubic meters) per day, BSEE said. Brent's front-month finished up $0.11, or 0.2%, at $52 a barrel on London's Intercontinental Exchange.
However, the assessment does not include the impact of storm Harvey.More news: See You On the Dark Side of the Moon - 2017 Solar Eclipse
"We are thus lowering our Brent oil price estimates to $55 per barrel from $60 per barrel in 4Q17 (and) to $57 per barrel from $64 per barrel in 2018", Jefferies bank said.
Gasoline rose still higher post-settlement, after sources told Reuters that Motiva was shuttering the largest us refinery.
Crude markets were also looking at disruptions in Libya and Colombia. "Gasoline prices, on the other hand, are higher due to the refinery shut ins", Jenna Delaney, a Senior Oil Analyst with PIRA Energy Group, a unit of S&P Global Platts, told RT.More news: Amazon Slashes Whole Foods Prices: Here's How Much You'll Save
Sharara, which at 280,000 bpd is the OPEC member's largest oilfield, has been shut for around a week because of militia blocking a pipeline linking it to the Zawiya oil terminal.